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Vice president to seek consensus

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Political parties summarise meeting with Mekki

A group of parties and movements have expressed optimism following a meeting with the vice president. The group released a statement on Tuesday following a six hour meeting with Mahmoud Mekki on Monday.

“The political arena in the recent period has seen a high degree of polarisation, which culminated in the aggression of Muslim Brotherhood members on national forces on 12 October,” said the opening of the statement, as the parties maintained accusations against the Muslim Brotherhood youth of attacking peaceful demonstrations that were critical to President Mohamed Morsy.

The groups outlined six points that Mekki emphasised during the meeting that sought to reconcile grievances aired by leftist and progressive groups, especially as they pertained to the Constituent Assembly.

Mekki cited the president’s preoccupation with the Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud as the reason for Morsy’s delayed reaction to the clashes in Tahrir Square between his supporters and detractors that left over 100 demonstrators injured.

The vice president also assured the parties that the next elected parliament would seriously prioritise the legalisation of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and enact laws that would closely monitor all institutions and political bodies, including the army, the Muslim Brotherhood and the institution of the presidency.

In the event that the Constituent Assembly were to be dissolved, the office of the presidency would re-form it “only after consultation and dialogue with all national forces, calling for a consensus on the criteria for the selection,” Mekki told the group.

He also told the attendees that a new law would not be implemented for parliamentary elections and instead would be enshrined in the new constitution, pledging that all political forces would be consulted in its formation.

The parties were told that “Egypt will never again see military trials for civilians.”

The group called the vice president’s attention to the “disgraceful letter” sent by Morsy to Israeli President Shimon Peres, and urged the administration to take assertive steps against the strengthening of the “Zionist entity” by stepping up control in Sinai.

The parties lobbied Mekki for careful examination of reported human rights violations, particularly reports of police torture, and raised the issue of sexual harassment.

The progressive groups also raised concerns surrounding government response to ongoing strikes, Nile University, Ramlet Boulaq, demonstrations by disabled citizens, and Egyptians detained abroad, with special attention given to Saudi Arabia. The issue of growing legal restrictions on protests was also addressed.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Popular Current, Al-Dostour Party, the Popular Socialist Alliance Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Strong Egypt Party, the Youth Movement for Justice and Freedom, the Free Egyptian Movement, the Free Front for Peaceful Change, and the Free Egypt Youth Movement.


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